Campus News

2022 SEC Professor of the Year

The award is given annually to one SEC faculty member whose record of teaching and research places him or her among the elite in higher education. Winners are selected by the SEC provosts from among the 14 SEC Faculty Achievement Award recipients. 

Marshall Shepherd is a professor in geography and atmospheric sciences in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and holds a joint appointment in the College of Engineering. (Photo by Nancy Evelyn)

Marshall Shepherd
Georgia Athletic Association Professor of Geography and Atmospheric Sciences
Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and College of Engineering

Marshall Shepherd, the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor of Geography and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Georgia, has been named the 2022 SEC Professor of the Year.

In addition to his appointment in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, Shepherd holds a joint appointment in College of Engineering and is the associate director for climate and outreach in the university’s Institute for Resilient Infrastructure Systems. Last year, he was recognized with election to the National Academy of Engineering, election to the National Academy of Sciences and election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences—the only person in UGA history to be elected to all three prestigious associations.

In recognition of the honor, the SEC will provide Shepherd with a $20,000 honorarium.

Research conducted by Shepherd and his colleagues has catalyzed entirely new areas of study, such as how wet soils can sustain the intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes and how urban areas can affect rainfall patterns. His research has been supported with $30 million in funding from agencies such as NASA, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy. He has authored or co-authored seven books and more than 100 peer-reviewed scholarly publications.

At UGA, he has served on numerous committees, including the Program Review and Assessment Committee, and he has been a faculty representative to the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors since 2016.

He recently chaired the NASA Earth Sciences Advisory Committee and was the 2013 president of the American Meteorological Society, the nation’s largest and oldest professional and scientific society in the atmospheric and related sciences. His expertise has been called on by both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate, where he briefed committees examining extreme weather and climate. Former President George W. Bush honored Shepherd in 2004 at the White House with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. In 2015, he was invited to moderate the White House Champions for Change event.

Shepherd directs UGA’s Atmospheric Sciences Program, which has grown dramatically in student enrollment and diversity under his leadership. He was instrumental in UGA’s election to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, a select consortium whose membership includes the most prominent atmospheric sciences programs in North America. To give students hands-on learning experiences while also providing invaluable real-time information to northeast Georgia residents, the Atmospheric Sciences Program added state-of-the-art weather forecasting capability under his leadership.